A global package of measures to improve gender equality in trade union membership

Internal practice
SNES-FSU's women's brochure
SNES-FSU's women's brochure



Reason it was developed

The union found that women teachers are more often in charge of child and domestic care, which means that they will be less available to do overtime. Men tend to occupy better paid jobs; they are more eager to take up positions where the management can more easily target them. Women do more invisible work, collaborative projects that are not directly linked to career advance. 82 % of part time jobs in the public sector are held by women (914 126 jobs over 1 110 636). 23% of women agents work part time, compared to 5% of men. Parental leave (up to 3 years) is primarily taken up by women (95%). Among the teaching personnel, 92.4% of parental leave is taken up by women.


The union is implementing a global package of measures: • Publishing yearly brochures on gender equality issues at union and social level; • Working on an academic level to raise the topic in curricula, proposing teaching materials to members; • Preventing violence and sexual harassment in working places for teachers and pupils; • Helping out women active members to get more involved in the union; • Working on equality protocols to prevent maternity leave from slowing down a woman’s career; • Trying to decrease the impact of part time teaching roles; • Working on gender friendly forms of recruitment and management; • In their unions’ statutes, they have enshrined mandatory parity at a minimum. Their lists of elected officials are therefore gender-balanced (50/50 male/female).


Closing gender pay gap requires a substantial dedicated budget. Investigating gender equality is already a big step forward (and the trade unions must never stop raising the topic when negotiating with the authorities). The union needs a dedicated referent to gender equality issues within the union both to inquire about what needs to be done and to discuss with the authorities. A global approach on gender issues is necessary and the reluctancy to discuss gender issues, within and outside the union, should not be underestimated. The union needs to raise the topic with members, in order to change mentalities.


Internal trade union's funding.


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